The Mayor’s Town Hall should be more than the opportunity for the Mayor to toot his horn about how well things are going, though no doubt some of this is in order. As importantly, the town hall should be an opportunity for residents to draw attention to various problems and issues with which they are concerned and about which they would like the Mayor to comment.
Here are some suggested topics:
Forget about this one. Pickering property taxes are about in the middle of what cities in Ontario pay. We are far from very high and not near very low. About in the middle. So there is no point in lamenting about it. You have to pay for services and we are well served by the city.
Taxes and Casino revenue
There had been a promise that casino revenue would offset taxes but there seems to be no change to levels of taxation even with the great public celebration of casino revenue. Can anyone explain this revenue gap?
Nuclear evacuation plan
Our nuclear evacuation plan is out of date (2015). The city has changed significantly, more people, more traffic, more congestion. A nuclear evacuation could be chaotic. Also, the city has not had a ‘city-wide’ test of the alarm notification in the last ten years. ‘City-wide,’ not localized to a single area or ward.
Without delving into the justification of the Councillor Robinson suspension, the Mayor should be updating the community about this whole situation: what was the issue, what were the actions taken and why; how has the impact of no constituency representation been handled by the Council; those who voted for Robinson deserve explanations, the residents of her constituency deserve explanation.
Anti-Black and Racism issues
Hate issues are evident throughout the city, some obvious such as graffiti on buildings and properties, some not so obvious such as bullying at schools and others such as public confrontations or incidents. The city has a committee working on the topic. It should report at the town hall: what has it achieved? what has it planned? What strategies or actions are planned to deal with the issue in the city?
Publication and updating of the community
There is much going on in the City of Pickering. Where do residents get updated information about it all? The City website may be a valuable tool for this but it is only good for residents who have tech skills and access to computers. What about the other people?
What considerations is the city making in this area? TV commercials? Creation of a city newspaper? Engagement and use of associations and social institutions in the city?
Mental Health Services, domestic violence incidents
Where is the city in relation to the need to help community members with the stress and anxiety they may be suffering? Inflation stress? Stress from climate change problems? Stress from social issues such as unemployment, food shortage, accommodation problems? How do residents learn about the availability of help, mental health assistance, coping with the stresses of living here?
Crime in the city: auto theft, personal, neighbourhood and traffic safety
Would a review of how to reduce risks associated with various crimes in the city be in order? Perhaps the Chief of DRPS consider a short address?
We invite interested residents to submit other topics for consideration at the town hall. [Email suggesstions to email@example.com ]